A hapless Thato Tsametse broke into tears last week as Justice Omphemetse Motumise turned down his bail application.
As if that was not enough, his attorney Nkosana Ngwenya was nowhere to be seen, his mobile phone unreachable.
Reports came the following day that Ngwenya was arrested for residing in Botswana illegally. Ngwenya has since been denied bail with Tsametse’s case continuing this week.
On March 13, Tsametse was arrested by the police for questioning over the murder of his 16-year-old cousin, Arnold Ofentse. This was after he made a P50,000 claim from Botswana Life where he had allegedly insured Ofentse’s life with two Mmoloki Funeral policies.
He was taken in for questioning and later released.
Seven days later, he was arrested once again and taken into custody. The court heard that Tsametse was reported to the police by two different traditional healers who he had allegedly approached seeking their powers to protect him from facing the wrath of the law for killing his cousin.
It is alleged that Tsametse confessed to the healers that he had indeed killed Ofentse and wanted them to use their powers to keep him from being prosecuted.
Last month, Tsametse filed an application for bail before Gaborone High Court’s Motumise seeking bail after Broadhurst Magistrate, where the case is being presided over, denied him the bail.
Ngwenya said his client should be granted bail as he is yet to be proven guilty and that he was the sole breadwinner to six beneficiaries who are now languishing in poverty.
“The applicant is innocent. He has also proven that he is not a flight-risk, as he did not flee after being arrested and let
Ngwenya said it would be unfair for the court to take into consideration the alleged confessions as his client has not pleaded guilty in court nor has he confirmed that he indeed confessed.
“This point does not stand as it is not a reason to deny him bail. The prosecution is attempting to state that they have a strong case and not stating why they are opposing the bail application,” he said.
The prosecution argued that Tsametse could not be granted bail as there is damning evidence against him in the confessions he made to the traditional healers.
She said Tsametse could flee and angry family members baying for his blood could endanger even his life.
To this, Ngwenya said they were not worried that anyone could harm his client, as the law would take its cause.
Motumise found the prosecution to have a stronger case and denied Tsametse bail.
The Form 2 Ledumadumane Junior Secondary School student, Ofentse was brutally stabbed to death on the night of March 3. His throat was slit. then left for dead under a huge Morula tree not far from Mogoditshane Senior Secondary School.
His aunt, Agnes Ofentse had previously told this publication that her children told her Arnold had gone to charge his phone at his neighbour’s house, but never returned home until he was found dead the following morning.
The case resumes this week at Broadhurst Magistrate’s Court.